IN a bold effort to have the future of Mambo Wanda Wetlands and the parcel of land which was mistakenly sold by the state government, bought back, the local community has launched a petition.
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Just as the petition against the proposed forced merger with Newcastle Council needed 10,000 signatures; so to will this petition to be debated in Parliament.
The petition was launched at the Mambo Wanda Wetlands by Port Stephens Member of Parliament Kate Washington who said, “It is important that we see this land returned to public hands; while the Development Application (DA) is unlikely to be supported by council, what we need to do is see the land returned to the public and the community.”
She believes that the parcel is vital to the survival of Port Stephens koalas and other endangered species on the site.
“Many people across all political parties support the return of this land to the community; the land that was sold for just $250,000 is priceless,” she said.
WetCon the new Mambo Wanda Wetlands Conservation Group has been formed to offer a non political, community driven effort to secure the future of the Mambo Wanda Wetlands.
Kathy Brown of WetCon told News Of The Area, “The group meets on the first Thursday of each month at 5pm at Soldiers Point Bowling Club and everyone is welcome.”
Irene Jones of WetCon said, “People can stay informed and get information by signing up to receive our email newsletters by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling me on 4984 7269.”
WetCon expressed concern around the tagging of trees on public land around the site with the pending DA adjacent to the wetlands.
A Council spokeswoman said, “While this assessment of trees has been undertaken by the owner, Council can assure the community that no trees can be removed without Council approval.
“Council is currently going through the process of assessing the DA, with particular consideration for the significant ecological constraints of the site.
“All submissions received during the exhibition period will be taken into consideration before the DA goes to the Council for review and determination,” she said.
Petitions will be available for signatures at Salamander Bay Shopping Centre outside Woolworths on 12 and 27 November.
There will also be a community meeting held in the Seascape Room at Soldiers Point Bowling Club at 5pm on 9 November.
By Marian SAMPSON